“After Virat Kohli Asked For It…”: Pak Legends Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis Question Umpiring Process On No-Ball Controversy


The India vs Pakistan showdown in T20 World Cup 2022 in Melbourne on Sunday turned out to be one of the finest cricketing matches ever contested between the two sides. The match went down the wire, with India needing 16 runs from the final 6 balls. Though for moments, it looked like Pakistan might just win the match, a no-ball from Mohammad Nawaz brought India back into the game. The no-ball call, however, wasn’t free from controversy, as there emerged a huge buzz on social media, suggesting the call was made by the umpire under pressure from Virat Kohli.

Pakistani cricket legends, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Malik, on the panel of A Sports, also delved into the raging topic and suggested that the call should’ve been referred to the third umpire.

“The ball seemed to dip but it’s kind of touch and go. To the naked eye, it did not seem like a no-ball but in slow-motion, it does seem like it dipped … Any batsman will turn and ask for no ball. That’s not his [Kohli]s] fault. Such a big game. You have the technology. Use it. Why flare up things unnecessarily?” Akram, who was one of the panelists in the discussion, said.

Waqar Younis also joined the discussion and gave an interesting insight. He suggested that the leg-umpire should’ve signalled a no-ball straight away and not waited for Virat Kohli to ask for it. Waqar also stressed that the leg-umpire should’ve spoken with the line umpire and eventually referred the decision to the third umpire. Waqar himself refused to say whether it was a no-ball or not but asserted the importance of such decisions being referred upstairs.

“When the ball is about waist-high, the square-leg umpire’s first reaction is that he takes his hand out, and extends his right hand. That’s his natural reaction. But if you look at the replays, he (Marius Erasmus) turns around to see the ball. Then after Virat Kohli asked for it…

“I am not saying and I don’t want to say it’s a no-ball or not. I don’t want to get into that controversy. But the umpire (Marius Erasmus the square-leg umpire) should have called it there and then. It was Virat Kohli’s right to ask for the no-ball and he should do it. The leg umpire should have consulted the main umpire and they should have gone upstairs. That’s why the third umpire is sitting there. It should have been left to him – he could call it no-ball, six whatever”.

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Shoaib Malik, also on the panel, said that third umpire consultation was a must in this matter. “When you have an option, you should take help from the third umpire, especially in such a big match at a crunch situation. Anyone can make a mistake but they should have consulted the third umpire. If the decision was taken after the replays which we saw it would have been better.”

The no-ball incident continues to be intensely debated on social media among fans and former cricketers.

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